Prevent kidney stones with lemonade

Kidney stones can be a serious problem. Many people are plagued with them and after getting one they can get them regularly from then on. Kidney stones can lead to other health problems and even require surgical intervention. There can also be a lot of pain associated with kidney stones, especially when they are trying to pass through or get stuck in the ureter. This pain is generally in the flank or lower abdomen and has been compared to the pain of childbirth.

People who suffer from this problem need immediate relief when they have a flair-up of pain and symptoms. In the past, patients would go to a doctor’s office or emergency room where the doctor will prescribe them potassium citrate in a pill or liquid form. Today many doctors are taking a look at something more natural and readily available-- lemons. Lemon juice is a great source of natural citrate.

kidney diagram

Kidney stones are formed when the urine in the kidneys gets oversaturated with the salts that cause stones and when the urine isn't getting enough of the substances that prevent stones. One of the most important of these substances is citrate.

Steven Y. Nakada, chair and professor of urology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, puts everyone he treats in his kidney stone center on lemonade therapy. He recommends using one cup of concentrated lemon juice with seven cups of water. A sugar substitute can be added, but sugar shouldn't be used due to the excess amount of calories.

When you make lemon juice into a low sugar or even sugar-free drink, the lemon juice will help to increase the levels of citrate in your urine to the point where it is known to inhibit the growth of kidney stones. In some cases, it may not work as well as the prescription potassium citrate, but it is a great alternative for someone who wants to avoid using another prescription medication.

David Kang, who is a medical student and a researcher at Duke University’s Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center, has found that lemonade can play an important role in fighting kidney stones over a long period of time. He and his colleagues followed twelve patients who have suffered from kidney stones and had been on lemonade therapy for a four-year period. Kang found that all twelve patients had fewer stones and produced stones at a much slower rate than before the lemonade therapy. Kang also noted that none of the patients needed any type of medical intervention for their kidney stones over the four-year period of the study.

Another plus for drinking lemonade when you have kidney stones is that it increases the amount of urine produced and passed. Not drinking enough water is one of the primary contributors to kidney stones. With kidney stones, it is important to pass 1.5 to 2 liters of urine daily. If you live in a hotter, drier climate, you will need to drink more than in a cooler more humid climate.

Lemonade is an important start to a kidney stone diet therapy but not the only change you need to make if you are prone to the condition. You also need to cut back on your salt intake. If you really love the taste of salt goes to a potassium-based substitute. Restaurant food, in general, has a lot of salt, but fast food, in particular, is loaded with it, so eating out less may help you cut back on your salt consumption.

Lemonade appears to be an effective weapon in fighting kidney stones in those that suffer from it regularly. It may also be a good idea for those that don't get kidney stones to drink lemonade as a preventive measure. Plus, it is a refreshing way to get more fluids into your diet.

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